Ajax Deploy SafelyHow to deploy Ajax application safely and easily

AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript Technology and XML) is a relatively recent technology, or more precisely – a collection of technologies – but it managed to find its place in the web development environment. Being a combination of existing technologies, such as CSS, JavaScript, and XML is good because it is easier to learn AJAX but when security is concerned, this means that the security weaknesses of these several technologies are also combined.

AJAX is not less secure than any other language. It might be a combination of XHTML (or HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Document Object Model (DOM), XML and XSLT, XML HTTP Request, and JavaScript (JS) but if you follow the best security practices and mind your code, AJAX is as safe as any other technology. Here are some basic recommendations on how you can use AJAX safely and easily.

Choose a Reliable AJAX Hosting Company

AJAX applications are very demanding and they are always hardware- and bandwidth hungry. This is quite logical – the power of AJAX comes at the expense of resource consumption. Nobody expects to run AJAX applications on an old machine with a low bandwidth Internet connection and this is why you need to find a reliable web hosting provider.

The best web hosts usually offer reliable hosting. A great web host is generous with hardware and bandwidth. However, if your AJAX applications are really heavy, you might even have to look for a dedicated server to host them.

There are many great hosts but if you want something really cool, you’d better look for a reliable hosting, which specializes in AJAX hosting. Many of the best web hosting providers have started offering AJAX web hosting packages and even there are even “dedicated sites”, such as the one in the screenshot below, with the best hosting plans for AJAX web hosting.

Ajax Web Hosting
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When you choose a good web host for AJAX hosting, this will make it less painful for you to deploy AJAX applications safely and easily.

AJAX Security Best Practices Are Vital

The choice of a reliable web host, or even better – a reliable AJAX host is only the first step to secure AJAX applications. The second step – applying AJAX security best practices is even more important because if you don’t write secure AJAX applications, none of the best web hosts can compensate for this. One of the greatest resources on AJAX security principles is Top 10 Ajax Security Holes and Driving Factors by Shreeraj Shah. This tutorial is a short one but it includes many vital things you must follow in order to write secure AJAX applications.

The best AJAX security practices are quite similar to the best practices for any web development language. The major points to consider are authentication, access control, authorization, and input validation. All these are important but input validation is a point you need to pay special attention to because your applications will be getting input from many untrusted sources and you can’t allow an untrusted source to gain control over your application.

A Test Server For AJAX Applications Can Save a Lot of Trouble

Test servers are useful for any kind of web applications and AJAX applications are not an exception. Test servers are great because they allow you to deploy your application (or modify it) in a test environment. This way, if something goes wrong, you won’t ruin your production server with your experiments.

Some of the best web hosts offer test servers but this is not the norm. If you are lucky to have a web hosting provider, who offers a test server, it is good but even if your web hosting provider doesn’t offer such extras, you can always set an inhouse test server and test your AJAX applications on it.

Self-Hack Tests Can Show Your Vulnerabilities

A self-hack test is also a good way to see if your AJAX applications are secure. There are many self-hack tests you can do. For instance, load tests can tell you if your application will survive a heavy number of requests.

If you want to do a load test, you should warn your provider beforehand. Depending on what your web hosting package includes, a load test might be more than what your provider’s servers can handle and this is why it is best to notify your web hosting provider in advance. Nobody says that a simple load test will take your provider’s servers down, but why take such risks?

When your host is one of the best and when you follow security best practices, deploying AJAX applications securely and easily is not a tough job.

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